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Evelyn Deats Starke Hartmann

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Evelyn Deats Starke Hartmann Obituary
Evelyn Deats Starke Hartmann

AGE: 102 • Middletown

Evelyn Deats Starke Hartmann died peacefully at 3:30 pm on Saturday, January 21, 2012. Calling hours will be Saturday, February 18th from 12 noon to 1pm followed by a Memorial Service to be held at 1 pm, both at Old First Church, 69 Kings Highway, Middletown. After the service a reception will be held in the church's fellowship hall. Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, Middletown. The family request no flowers, instead, please send memorials in Evelyn's name to Old First Church.

Eve was born Jan 3,1910 in her house in Middletown, NJ, and died in that same house. Eve lived all 102 years, 15 days in the same house. Eve's mother, Sarah Morford Taylor Starke lived to 97 and Sarah's 2 sisters, Eva and Elizabeth, lived to 98 and 99 respectively. Eve's 9th great-grandmother, Penelope Von Princes was Middletown's first women settler who was scalped by Indians and recovered and lived to 110.

Eve married her late husband, George Hartmann in 1940. He died in 1971; they had no children. Eve's mother Sarah lived her first 30 years in the Old Telegraph Hill homestead, circa 1830, which is still standing. Sarah wrote about those first 30 years and the Monmouth County Historical Society published her pamphlet, "The Captains Tom Boys". Eve had to drive her mom Sarah up several times a year so Sarah could see her old home. Sarah was the daughter of Captain James Grover Taylor and Elizabeth Ely Perrine. Captain Taylor ran a ferry from Keyport to New York City. All of Sarah's ancestors were in New Jersey by 1700. Eve's father Henry William Starke immigrated to America from Germany in 1875, with his parents William and Tressa Starke and was orphaned at age 8 along with his 6 year old brother John. Eve's dad Henry was a lifelong railroad man.

Eve was the youngest of 4 children. Oldest, Henry died at age 2. Second oldest, Ruth Taylor Starke died single at age 24 of Tuberculosis and was the most musically talented of the 3 sisters. Third oldest, Dorothy Mae Starke married Thomas Watson Johnson of Wolcott, NY in 1932. They had 2 children; son Thomas Watson Johnson Jr. (Nancy Lou Bower) and their daughter Suzanne Taylor Johnson Hebel, and son Richard Howard Johnson (Deborah Leuze) and their son Aric Thomas Johnson. The 2 sons and their families are all still living.

Eve and her 2 older sisters all attended Middletown High School in Leonardo - currently an elementary school. They walked from to Route 35 and took the trolley to school.

Eve attended and graduated from New York University. She took the train daily from Middletown and majored in music. Her sisters Ruth and Dorothy attended Syracuse University and were also music majors. Dorothy was a music teacher in Wolcott, NY, church choir director and writer of operettas for the Wolcott Rotary. As a teenager Dorothy played for the silent movies in Red Bank, NJ.

Eve took her New York University degree and began teaching music in the Hawthorne Schools starting in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades in 1935. She conducted the orchestra, later went to the high school and finally became head of the music department. She took choirs to New York City and Washington, DC. Eve retired in 1971.

Eve's mother Sarah started playing the Old First Church pipe organ in 1888 and Eve started playing after Sarah retired in 1938. Eve played until she broke her hip in 2008. Eve and Sarah played continuously for 120 years. They also directed the choir. Old First Church was formerly called the Middletown Baptist Church which is the second oldest Baptist Church in the US. Eve talked Radio City Music Hall into donating their old pipe organ to her church in the 1940's and later led in obtaining the current pipe organ.

Eve and her husband George enjoyed boating and fishing and took their Sea Bright anchored boat out often. In retirement Eve enjoyed traveling, reading crosswords, Ocean Grove organ recitals and traveling the coastal highway from Atlantic Highlands to Asbury Park, NJ.

Published in Asbury Park Press on Feb. 12, 2012
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